In our digital age, people are utilizing email, live chats and social platforms daily to communicate. When chatting with friends’ online emotions/tone of a message can get lost in translation, leaving it up for interpretation. In an attempt to remedy this emoticons and exclamations points are used; one may use an emoticon as a form of digital expression. This is the next best thing to help merge the barrier for the lack of facial expressions or voice fluctuations. I’m sure you have received emoticons from friends/family or have sent them yourself.
But are they appropriate?
Let’s talk about if emoticons and exclamations are appropriate in business correspondence In my opinion, as a consumer if I am paying my money for a service or anything for that matter, I want some level of good customer service. Even though, sadly that is not always the case.
I think about the many times I have walked into a business, my mind filled with a long to-do list, and a focused look across my face. I walk up to the counter with an expectation to do my transaction with an emotionless rep, and then continue about the rest of my day.
Maybe you have had a similar experience? What happens when you walk up to the counter to find a smiling rep that not only genuinely ask you about your day, but goes above and beyond to ensure you have a good experience. Personally, I feel great when this happens; I leave the business with a smile on my face and a little extra pep in my step.
How would a business create this same feeling over social media? Yes, there are a few factors that limit the type of service that could be provided. I think it’s safe to say that just because something is different, it doesn’t make it bad.
I’m a visual learner, so I’ve included a few tweets as examples of sending good vibes to customers. The tweet from Sunglass Hut is very kind and appreciative. The one from Levi’s is informative and straight to the point.
Go one step farther
Take a look at the next two tweets below. Pocket’s approach has a very conversational feel to the tweet, the smiley face and exclamation point accentuates it! Buffer has a great way for showing appreciation for praise, makes me want to say thanks again.
All four of these responses are great, but which ones would you rather receive? Let me guess the ones with the exclamations and emoticons, right? Yeah, me too! In social media it can be tempting to simply answer a question or reply with a “Yep, thanks for the mention”, but it’s important to put in a little more effort for the receiver. Remember it’s the little things that can make a big difference.
How do you make them feel?
I believe in the field of customer service all that matters is how the customer feels at the end of the interaction. While attempting to expand on this, a quote immediately came to mind spoken by the late Maya Angelou –
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
If customer service had an official motto this should be the one.
I have read several blogs discussing the issue of emoticons; are they professional; what if my business has more of corporate feel; will my customers take me seriously? No matter your stance, ask yourself how do you want your customers to feel? Then you will have your answer on how to respond to them. Remember, emoticons are one of many things you can use to send happy vibes to your customers there are GIFs, images, memes, and videos. We will save those for another blog post. 🙂
Do you use emoticons or excessive exclamations points? Do you think it’s child’s play and not for the business world? Please, let me know on Twitter – inquiring minds want to know!